Quality Checks of Green Turtle Nesting Data Completed

Stacy Hargrove of the PIFSC Marine Turtle Research Program (MTRP) completed a compilation and quality check of Hawaiian green turtle nesting data from saturation surveys at East Island, French Frigate Shoals. During the 1988-1992 nesting seasons, saturation tagging (monitoring the nesting population throughout the entire nesting season) was conducted on East Island. This intensive monitoring provided the opportunity to determine the actual number of nesting females and number of nests laid per year. In all other years since 1973, monitoring has been conducted for a shorter period of time during the peak of the nesting season, and the number of nesting females and nests estimated using the year's survey data along with information from the saturation surveys in a mathematical procedure developed by Center scientist Jerry Wetherall. The purpose of the current analysis was to check the quality of the saturation survey data entered into the MTRP's Turtle Data Processing System database to ensure the quality and integrity of this long-term, high-value dataset. The significance of the quality check is that this dataset contributes to our understanding of inter-nesting intervals and clutch frequencies for Hawaiian green turtles, statistics that have not been examined since the 1970s. These data are currently being analyzed in a collaborative study with Dr. Manjula Tiwari of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center to model the carrying capacity of East Island for green turtle nesting.